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Robbers order 2 to basement, 3rd escapes home to call police

Robbers order 2 to basement, 3rd escapes home to call police

Two robbers were able to get away with cash and electronics after ordering two roommates into their basement during a robbery early Sunday morning, according to a news release.

Three men were sleeping in the home in the 1400 block of Huxley Street around 3:40 a.m. when two men entered the home and ordered two of the roommates to the basement, police said.

A third roommate got out of the house, and was able to call police from a neighbor?s house a little while later, according to the release.

The robbers left in an unknown direction before police got to the house.

The only description of the men that is available is that they were wearing masks and may have been armed with a revolver.

Organization takes on racial disparities in incarceration

Organization takes on racial disparities in incarceration

The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families' “Race to Equity” report indicates that Wisconsin, and particularly Dane County, may have the worst racial disparities in incarceration in the nation. MOSES, a Madison-based interfaith social justice organization, is working to fix that.

In fact, it may go even farther than that. Amy Pooler, a leader in MOSES, said, “Dane County has the worst racial disparities in incarceration rates of African American rates in the country, and that means in the world, because the U.S. already incarcerates more of its population than any other nation on Earth.”

Rookie K-9 sniffs out escaped mental health patient

Rookie K-9 sniffs out escaped mental health patient

It was a rookie K-9 officer that helped police track down an escaped mental health patient in north Madison Wednesday night, police said Friday.

Wednesday at about 10 p.m., Madison officers were called to help Mendota Mental Health Institute staff find a patient who ran off while being escorted to a building on the MMHI campus.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said K-9 Frees and his partner Officer Nicholas Eull were part of the responding teams at the north Madison facility.

DeSpain said Eull used a sterile gauze pad to pick up the escapee's scent from the back of the vehicle in which the patient was transferred.

Woman makes 3 drive-thru purchases using 3 fake $20s, police say

Woman makes 3 drive-thru purchases using 3 fake $20s, police say

A woman went through an east Madison fast-food drive-thru paying with counterfeit bills three times in the same day, according to police. 

The Madison Police Department said a woman used fake $20 bills to purchase inexpensive food items at Wendy's on East Washington Avenue on Wednesday afternoon. The woman, driving an older red SUV, made three separate purchases within an hour.

The manager going through the cash from the till found the fake bills and called police, according to the report. The manager said the restaurant's protocol is to ink test large bills, but the three bills that were accepted were not tested.

The woman is described as white, in her 20s to 30s, with long dirty blonde hair and a tattoo on her upper right chest.

Two of the fake $20s had the serial number JE58590236C; the other bill had the number JD95368601C, police said.

Police use tire deflation device to stop suspected impaired driver

Police use tire deflation device to stop suspected impaired driver

Police said officers had to use a tire-deflation device to stop a reportedly impaired driver on the north side of Madison early Saturday.

Madison police said an officer attempted to pull over 27-year-old Chaz Morris, of Madison, on suspicion of speeding as he drove on East Washington Avenue and Reindahl Avenue at 12:37 a.m.

Morris did not stop and fled the officer, according to the report. Another officer was nearby the pursuit and was able to put a tire-deflation device in the roadway that Morris drove over, deflating the vehicles front tires.

Morris pulled over and fled from the car on foot, police said. Officers chased Morris and were able to take him into  custody.

Police said Morris smelled of marijuana and officers found several bags of marijuana on him.

Morris was charged with operating while impaired, possession with intent to deliver, eluding, obstructing and several traffic offenses, according to the report.

Fire officials: Preschool-aged boy starts fire that damaged closet

Fire officials: Preschool-aged boy starts fire that damaged closet

Fire officials said a closet and clothes were damaged in a fire Wednesday night reportedly started by a preschool-aged boy.

The Madison Fire Department said a fire crew responded to a report of a fire at a residence on the 1800 block of Northport Drive at 10:21 p.m.

Crews entering the apartment saw light smoke, according to the report. The fire was in a back bedroom where large amount of clothes hanging in the closet and on the floor appeared to have started on fire. Some were still burning.

The fire was contained to the to the closet, the fire department said. The closet was damaged including clothes lying around the outside of the closet and the contents inside. The crew set up fans to ventilate the apartment.

Motorist follows suspected drunken hit-and-run driver nearly 4 miles

Motorist follows suspected drunken hit-and-run driver nearly 4 miles

A concerned driver followed a vehicle nearly four miles in Madison after he told police he saw the vehicle strike a car and a van Monday night, police said.

The Madison Police Department said a person driving near the 2300 block of Calypso Road on Madison's north side followed a suspected drunken driver beginning at 8:27 p.m.

According to the report, the uninvolved driver and passenger saw a vehicle rear end an occupied car and a parked van and drive off. The concerned driver followed the vehicle, suspecting the driver was intoxicated, about four miles southeast where the alleged hit-and-run driver pulled into a West Corporate Drive parking lot.

The car was seriously damaged, police said. One tire was gone and the vehicle had been driving on a rim. The driver walked away and the two citizens followed on foot, staying with the suspected drunken driver until police arrived.